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News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown. (2012) Election coverage includes in-depth reports, analysis and live results. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Us 16, Obama 14, Virginia 10, Chicago 8, California 8, Brown 7, Barack Obama 6, New York 6, Cleveland 5, Massachusetts 5, Ohio 4, Christina Bellantoni 3, Biden 3, Christina 3, Ray 3, Joe Donley 3, Stuart Rothenberg 3, Judy 3, Pbs Newshour 3, Paul Ryan 3,
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  PBS    PBS News Hour    News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown.   
   (2012) Election coverage includes in-depth reports, analysis...  

    November 6, 2012
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: the long, hard- fought, and costly campaign is over, and soon enough, vote counting will begin, as we wait to learn the winner of the 2012 presidential race. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill, and we welcome you to this special edition of the newshour. kwame holman starts us off tonight with an election day wrap-up. then, we take the temperature at the campaigns' headquarters, with ray suarez in chicago and margaret warner in boston. >> woodruff: mark shields and david brooks join us with their analysis. >> ifill: jeffrey brown on who's voting and why, plus key congressional races with christina bellantoni and stuart rothenberg. >> woodruff: we get historical perspective from michael beschloss and richard norton smith. >> ifill: and hari sreenvasan shows how you can find the latest results online at our data-driven map center.
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>> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> music is a universal language. when i was in an accident i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own. with united health care i got help that fit my life, information on my phone, connection to doctors who get where i'm from, and tools to estimate what my care may cost.
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so i never miss a beat. >> we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. united health care. >> bnsf railway. >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... friends of the newshour. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: this is election day 2012, and the obama and
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romney campaigns have had their ground games in high gear, trying to get out the vote. at the same time, both sides made final forays aimed at energizing supporters and winning over the tiny sliver of undecideds. the official day of decision arrivedded after many months of campaigning and more than two-and-a-half billion dollars spent on the presidential race. in closely contested states such as virginia, long lines were common at polling places and around the country voters on both sides defended their choice. >> there's a scripture that says the borrower is servant to the lender. i believe we need to get out of the debt. so i'm voting for mitt romney. >> i voted for barack obama because even though i don't think he did everything he said he would do in four years, i think he needs another four years. >> reporter: as for the major candidates, republican mitt romney and wife ann started the day by voting in the boston suburb of belmont, mama. from there, he flew to cleveland, ohio, joined by
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running mate paul ryan in a final bid to win the all-important buckeye state. >> it's a big day for big change. we're about to change america to help people in ways they didn't imagine they could be helped with good jobs and better take-home pay. >> reporter: romney also traveled through pittsburgh, pennsylvania, seeking an upset in a state that hasn't voted republican for president in more than 20 years. and the campaign dispatched ryan to richmond, virginia, for one last appearance. and also released a five-minute video online. >> this isn't a campaign about me. and it's not a campaign even about conservatives versus liberals. or republicans versus democrats. it's really a time when america is going to have to ask, what are we as a country? >> reporter: meanwhile president obama finished his official campaigning last night with a rally in des moines, iowa.
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>> iowa, we're here tonight because we have more work to do. we're not done yet on this journey. we've got more road to travel. >> reporter: that road took the president home to chicago where he already had voted. today he met with volunteers at a campaign office and telephoned others across the country. >> i just wanted to call and say thank you. >> reporter: the president sounded an upbeat note ahead of tonight's results. >> we feel confident. we've got the votes to win. but it's going to depend ultimately on whether those votes turn out. so i would encourage everybody on all sides just to make sure that you exercise this precious right that we have and that people fought so hard for us to have. >> reporter: vice president biden joined the president in chicago after working in his own brief visit to cleveland. at one point, his official plane, air force 2, could be seen on the tarmac along with the romney and ryan campaign plane. it all underscores how critical the battle ground states are
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expected to be tonight. but for many people living in the battle grounds, there also was palpable relief it's all coming to an end. voters in aurora, colorado, summed up their feelings. >> relieved. my phone has been ringing off the hook with "vote for this person." i got to the point where i just unplugged the phone. >> just too much. all these ads. i'm so glad it's over. i already had my mind made up a long time. >> reporter: indeed an estimated 46 million people were sure enough to vote early this time around. that's just more than a third of the 133 million ballots expected to be cast. >> ifill: two of our newshour colleagues are stationed at campaign headquarters, where they will be all night. ray suarez is in chicago with the obama team and he joins us now. ray, how did your sense is of what the mood is on the campaign this final day? >> well, they don't have much to
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say, frankly, from inside the bubble. the campaign headquarters, about two miles away from where we are on chicago's lake front. they say they've been hitting their marks. they say the g.o.t.v., get out the vote, efforts is going as planned. it's all over but the shouting. the last-minute preparations are being made here at the convention center where they've moved indoors from the much-remembered lake front appearance in chicago's grand park four years ago. the weather is not cooperating this year. temperatures in the low 40s and a steady rain all day. so, for now, just watching and waiting and waiting for official comments from a campaign that says so far this day has gone exactly as they planned it. >> ifill: ray, earlier this week or in the weeks before, they said that when it was announced that mitt romney would spend his final day campaigning that it was a sign of desperation. we heard today that vice president joe biden was going to be doing a little campaigning in ohio today. what was that about?
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>> suarez: we asked the campaign. they had no official comment earlier in the day david axle rod was projecting desperation on to the romney campaign for the reason you mentioned. it may be nothing more than gamesmanship on this final day to make sure that the obama-biden campaign is is on local television in ohio in an equal way to romney and ryan who were both in state. they came so close to passing, as it was, that their jets w both on the runway at the airport in cleveland about the same time. that's how close they came to bumping into each other at the airport, you might say. so biden didn't have much to do really, not much of an official program. he went to a diner, a famous diner near the industrial valley in cleveland and greeted supporters, talked about his future, joked that he may run for local office one day, and then he was off as quickly as that, heading chicago for a rendevouz with his boss the
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president. >> ifill: ray, we've heard lots of anecdotal talk about the number of early voters lining up around polling places around the country. is there any sense within the campaign where this hem-s them or not? >> suarez: all they've said officially is that they did what they wanted to do. the obama campaign, in the early voting. some 31 million people nationwide voted early. it may be some days before we know exactly who they were and exactly where and exactly who that advantaged. but as far as their official comments, the campaign says their early vote strategy is working. we'll see. >> ifill: ray, we'll be talking to you all night. hang in there. thanks. >> woodruff: for the view from the romney campaign we go to margaret warner in boston. margaret, hello. what are they saying, the obama folks? >> warner: judy, the romney folks have been, i would say, nervous, anxious and expectant
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all at once all day. not unlike the mood that ray has picked up with the obama campaign. but just five minutes ago i talked to one of the sort of not totally inner circle but quite inner circle who said, you know, all election day information is b.s. and something in a year in which there was so much early voting. he said with that said it's really trending our way. he believes, and they believe, that the turnout was up in their strong counties and that not as high as expected in the democratic counties and that the electorate will turn out to be the kind of electorate that they think they need to win. >> woodruff: presumably they're not more nervous than i am. i just called them the wrong campaign. i said obama and i meant romney. margaret, what about the trip that governor romney made today? he went to pittsburgh. he stopped ohio and cleveland. what are they saying about that? what sort of benefit do they think they get out of this?
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>> warner: well, they think they get a benefit of, as ray said, about joe biden going somewhere, is that they just get on the late nightews. they rally the troops. they also believe, one, they know they absolutely... i mean it's very hard for romney to win without winning ohio. and the senior strategist said to me yesterday, well, we can win without ohio but we would rather win with it. secondly, they honestly believe that pennsylvania could be in sight. so, you know, why not use... apparently he didn't want to sit around anyway all day. and then they looked at the biden decision to go late to ohio as a sign of desperation on the obama campaign's part. as ray said, this may all be gamesmanship and they're all talking to us. but they felt good about sending him out there. >> woodruff: margaret, we will be talking to you a lot tonight. so stay warm. >> warner: thanks judy.
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ifill: here at the table with us. >> ifill: here at the table with us-- where they will be all night tonight-- are syndicated columnist mark shields and new york times" columnist david brooks. mark shields, what is the path to 270, that magic total of electoral votes that somebody needs in order to become president of the united states. >> all barack obama has to do is win the states he won last time. everyone of the states that battle ground state is state he carried last time. we'll find out. last time he had advantage in a strange way. that was hillary clinton because he was able to organize in those states in the primaries and establish an organization and establish financial advantage which held him far over john mccain. but i think, you know, i think that they know these states. he's campaigned in them before. that's his strength. for mitt romney obviously it's capitalizing on the economic discontent, the economic hurt still in the country, the disappointment and the progress to recovery. >> ifill: david, what is your view? what do they each need to do?
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>> david: i'm focusing on demographics and ethnicity in thirace. if the turnout is as the pollsters project, then obama has an obvious advantage in the swing state. the question, is it? so to me the crucial number is the white vote. barack obama loses the white vote about 60-40, whites tend to vote republican 60-40. in 1980 the white vote was 91%. it came down to 74%. it's basically been coming down two or three points every election with the exception of 1992 so it's been dropping, dropping, dropping. if it's at 74, 73, 72%, then that's pretty good for obama. if it jumps up again as it did in 2010, then that's pretty good for romney. i'm looking at that indicator. >> ifill: but take those indicators and apply it to the number of states. mark said that obama needs to win the state that he won last time. what is romney's path. >> that includes some of those states. ohio is a pretty white state. so right now in the polls obama is overwe are forming among
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white voters i places like ohio. romney pretty much needs to win ohio. if he loses ohio he could conceivably get there by winning wisconsin and colorado but that becomes pretty tough. really ohio, he's really got to carry all the get-able states, the virginias, the ohio, "maybe even new hampshire. >> woodruff: what about the economy as an issue? we started out this campaign, mark, saying that that was issue number one, jobs in the economy. is it still the big issue? >> it still is, judy. it remains that. i think that the obama campaign has successfully defined the economy as an issue about who cares more about you, who is going to be better for you, who has your interest and expanded romney has used the credential of his own financial experience, his own economic success as somebody i didn't know how to do this. i think that there's been a failure of communication or maybe an inability, it has been that romney has established that he really does understand what
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people are going through. i think if you... and the irony, of course, if he doesn't carry ohio, as david has put it, he'll be agonizing for the rest of his life over should i have chosen rob portman the senator from ohio rather than paul ryan. the "new york times..." >> ifill: that leads to the question. there are key moments along the way in this campaign whether it was the argument about the auto bailout or the the 47% or the president's performance in the first debate. as you look back over this long arc of history which we have all been riding together, what do you think... what stands out in your mind as what may in the end decide tonight? >> charlie cook, the great election analyst said it was -- i agree with this, it was early april-may obama attack on romney in states like ohio where he did the bane attack. he doesn't get you attack. so when romney began to rise after that first debate, he rose nationwide except in some of those swing states where they already had an image of him
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because of that early ad. early in the spring and early summer obama hitting hard, romney not counter balancing. that was a crucial moment. >> ifill: do you agree with that? >> i do agree. i think charlie cook makes a good point. i don't think there's any question that we're seeing the rise of the romney vote apparently even acknowledged by the obama campaign in places like pennsylvania where there's been no campaign. the campaign for them began essentially in the debates. because there hasn't been any advertising. there hasn't been any candidate campaigning there. so that's been following sort of the national pattern which was, oh, romney... they've never heard that romney was somebody who wanted to stick fingernails under the widow of orphans and widows and put them in the snow banks or whatever else the people in ohio had told over and over about him. >> woodruff: both of you were talking about the first debate where romney was perceived to come across completely differently from what people had thought. >> a lot of people focused on how allegedly badly obama did. i think people knew who obama
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was. they didn't know who romney was. when he seemed like a reasonable person i think that was why he jumped so much. basically he reestablished republican equilibrium. he got back to where he should be. that's why i do focus on the demographics because it's where the two parties are. it's worth remembering tonight i suspect we're going to see romney outperforming senate canned gates in a lot of places. it's party versus party as much as... >> i do disagree with david on that. i don't think there's any question that the president's performance was abysmal in the first debate. i think it really... it not only gave mitt romney a chance to redefine himself as mitt from massachusetts but when romney leveled the charges and the president didn't rebut them, that gave even greater credence to romney's position but raised doubts about the''s own belief in toughness and his own position. that is a problem for barack obama. does he have steel in his spine? and the problem with mitt romney that remains, does he have a heart in his chest? i mean, we know he's kind and
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considerate to people nearby. but does he really understand what people are going through in lorain, ohio. >> woodruff: that is a question and those are questions and that's a debate we'll have all night long. we will be back to you early and often. our election coverage is also online where you can track the latest winners and losers in our map center. you can find results by state and by county house, senate and governor's races as well as the presidential contest. watch our livestream channels to see the newshour special election program, speeches from the candidates, and reaction at watch parties here in the washington, d.c., area. reporters from around the nation are contributing to our live blog, which will be updated all night. >> ifill: election day posed special challenges for the storm-ravaged sections of the northeast. still, thousands of people crowded makeshift polling places. hari sreenivasan has that story. >> sreenivasan: on hard-hit
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statten island, the hum of generators could be heard powering lech throne i can voting booths in tents this morning. >> i'm going to vote no matter where. >> sreenivasan: new york governor andrew cuomo issued an executive order on monday allowing displaced voters to use any polling station if they presented an affidavit. that touched off confusion today at numerous polling places. but cuomo urged people not to be discouraged. >> many of the polling places were moved. some of the polling places had issues with electricity and generators, et cetera. but it is important that we vote. it's important that the system works. this is an important election. this is a critical election, i believe. >> sreenivasan: in new jersey mobile stations like this one tried to reach those who could not vote at their usual polling sites. >> we've been working very diligently yesterday and today to make sure that they had some form of ways to vote. >> none of us thought we would have a chance because we're like quite a distance away from our
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homes in the shelter. we never thought that we'd have a chance to be able to move. all of us, as you can see, we're very happy that we do have this opportunity to vote. to make sure that we are done right by. >> sreenivasan: new jersey voters were allowed to cast ballots by emails or fax and governor chris christie said that means anyone who wants to vote can vote. >> the only people who should be applying are people who have been displaced fromth homes because of the storm. if you haven't been displaced from your home because of the storm get your butt up and go vote at your polling place. this is not a convenience thing. >> sreenivasan: they had their eyes on new difficulties as well in the form of a nor'easter due to strike tomorrow. >> we're going to take a step back. i don't think there's anyway that we won't given what the forecast is. so, everybody has got to kind of dial it back and not get all worked up because you lose power
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again. nothing we can do to stop the storms. >> sreenivasan: the new storm appeared weaker than first feared but it was still expected to hit at a time when thousands of people are not back in their homes. >> i know cold weather is coming. we are concerned about that. but there's no way we can live here in the house. at this time now. >> sreenivasan: mayor michael bloomberg warnedded that mild flooding from the storm could pose greater danger than usual. >> a lot of these beaches have had their sand which has acted as a barrier eroded. places that didn't before have a problem with two-and-a-half to four-and-a-half feet surge might very well this time. >> sreenivasan: shortages of gasoline continued. although officials said they were gradually easing. >> woodruff: back to our election analysis. all night long we'll be studying exit polls along with the voting returns in key states. what are we looking for and how are exit polls conducted? geoffrey brown explains. >> brown: for that, i'm joined
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>> brown: and for that, i'm joined now and throughout the evening by newshour political editor christina bellantoni and stuart rothenberg of the "rothenberg political report" and "roll call." hello for the first time. stu, start with this question of exit polls. we're going to be looking at them all night. what are they though. >> exit poll is actually a series of polls, 25,000 of them to be exact, this year of people who have voted. the poll is conducted in two ways. one thousands of in-person surveys done as people are leaving the polls. they're handed a little card with many questions on them. they simply respond. then the cards are gathered up and the results tabulated but in addition to that, jeff, now there are thousands of telephone interviews on top of that. because, remember, somewhere around 30% or a third of all voters will have voted early. so you can't rely on people walking out of the polling place. you've got people who aren't even showing up at the polling place. edison research, which is the company that actual he'll
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conducts the exit polls for the consortium of media companies that buys into the polls has this overlay of phone calls. >> brown: that early voting has changed so much. this is one thing. this is another thing that has changed. >> absolutely. it's probably one of the questions we'll be looking at tonight is the time of vote. when you decided on your vote. that could be influenced by the debates, for example, or but last-minute breaking newsy vents like the hurricane sandy. but one thing that is important to point out is is we're going to see them in waves tonight. some of the things that they tell us early, we've got an early look that basically suggests that the economy, of course, is what drove people to the polls. it doesn't actually tell you who won. you can infer some of the things, the characteristics that are driving people to show up. >> brown: tell us a little bit more because we've got some of the early results. that first one backs up what we just heard from mark, right? it's still the economy. >> exactly. another thing that backs up what david and mark were just talking about is who is in more touch with people like you. 52% said that was president obama. chose obama.
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they were showing up at the polls. 44% chose governor romney in that sense. that could go to the advertising campaign that the president's team had really tried to say that mitt romney is not like you. i am more in touch with the middle tax. that goes to the tax increase issue which also showed up in the exit polls that six in 10 voters said taxes should be increased. you might suggest that those are people supportive of the president. >> brown: i also see stu that governor romney on the other side had the advantage over who would better handle the economy in these early exit polls. >> right. the exit poll asked both about issues, questions of public policy, taxes, foreign policy, but also the personal characteristics of the candidates. in this case, mitt romney was generally regarded to have an advantage on the issue of the economy and jobs. and the early indications suggest that, yes, people are voting on the economy. now the question is some people are going to weigh two things. the the personal quality and issues and how they vote. we're going to know in a little
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bit. >> brown: in what ways are these useful and in what ways not? because we've all experienced bowe, i think, right? >> during the primaries -- and we talked about this a lot with stu and i here looking at the types of voters that were supportive of mitt romney versus his primary supporter rick santorum. evangelical voters weren't as supportive of mitt romney early on. there were class divides. we're looking at the demographic data because that's one thing the president's team has made clear they're relying on to turn out the vote for him, the demographic groups that tend to back him. younger voters, african-americans, younger women. they do really inform the types of people you're out to get at the polls. sometimes, for example, there's the health care... 50% of voters favored repealing some or all of obama care. that shows it's a divided country but that doesn't suggest who will win tonight. >> i think we ought to em fa that these exit polls have been done for many years. we have had trouble in some years.
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i don't expect there will be trouble this year. those of us in this business that have been doing it understand that we have to treat these very tentative lie and at the end of the day people are voting to elect the next wt and the next congress. we're really going to wait for those results to go in. these give us a little window into how people are thinking, why they're deciding and how they're making a decision that helps us at the end of the day understand their vote choice. >> brown: when you look at that window tonight a little bit ahead of the game right now, early stages, what are you looking for? >> i'll be looking for the same thing that david and mark will look at which is the demographics. who is voting? there are a lot of people in this country who don't participate. what are the people who decide to go to the polls or have already gone to the polls, what does that picture of america look like? that will probably determine who wins the white house. >> brown: stu and christina, we'll be talking, thanks. >> ifill: the campaign map shrank dramatically this year, as candidates avoided the deep blue or deep red states and spent their time and money
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instead on just a handful of key states, the so-called battlegrounds. this was not always the case. for more on the history of presidential coast-to-coast campaigning, we're joined by newshour regulars michael beschloss and richard norton smith. they'll also be with us throughout the night. michael, when did this map begin to shrink? give us a sense. this was not always so. >> it sure wasn't. go back to 1960, for instance. on the night that richard nixon accepted the republican nomination for president in chicago, he committed himself to run a 50-state campaign. can you believe it? that was only, what, 52 years ago. he said, you know, now that the country is 50 states, hawaii and alaska, had just come in, there are jet airplanes. every candidate should visit every state in the course of a campaign. he came to regret it because he felt he should have spent much more time on certain states but ever since then we've had much more one-party states, much more one-party districts in this country to some extent because
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of redistricting. in 1960, so the big prize in kennedy versus nixon, they spent a lot of time in california, illinois, new york, texas. those are four states that the candidates did not spend much time if at all this year with the exception of going to fund raise. that shows how different things are now. >> woodruff: richard, it's certainly not that there hasn't been partisanship. it's a matter of... whether there's been geographic partisanship. >> that's well put, judy. ohio, for example, for most of its history for well over 100 years has stood out. it's been the mother of presidents and the maker of presidents. it's the country in microcosm. it is urban. it is rural. it is agricultural. it is industrial. it is a strong tradition of organized labor. it has significant minority populations. if you were going to disstill the united states in the mid
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20th century at the end of the 20th century, you know, you'd be hard pressed to do better than ohio. in some ways it makes a lot of sense that ohio has attracted as much attention as it has. >> ifill: michael and richard, let's think about california. big, big state. very diverse. densely populated. has farms. it has mountains. it all has kinds of regions yet the candidates don't get there at all. should they feel disdisenfranchised, michael? >> they should. the down side of they lec leckey lech toral college means them don't... with the exception of they go to california to raise money. they go to texas to raise money. they go to new york to raise money. so basically this is a campaign which is you vus it the swing states. you go to other places that have a lot of money. that's about it. but if there were no electoral college, this gives you a little bit of idea, they would be standing probably a lot more
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time in the big cities worrying about money and perhaps running this campaign from tv studios in new york and los angeles. i think comparatively not so bad. >> one critical distinction because, yes, california is diverse in many respects but it is not diverse politically. it is not voted for a republican presidential candidate since 1988 and in recent years it has been regarded as out of reach from the outside. that's why most republican candidates tend to avoid it except when raising money. >> woodruff: have a chance to talk about this throughout the night. just on this question of partisanship, just both of you quickly. we tend to think when we're in the middle of a campaign we've never seen it as rough and tough as it's been this year. but remind us, you know, whether that's the case or not. whether it's been this tough throughout history. >> lincoln was derided by a baboon. thomas jefferson got a columnist who put out poison on his
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opponent. there have been partisan campaigns before. but i think the big difference is in congress. you look through american history there has been rarely a time when a congress has been this divided and this hostile between the parties. that is driving a lot of the political system. >> ifill: richard, i want to ask you to follow up on this question we were just talking to stu and christina about the economy and what we're seeing in these early exit surveys of voters today. is that always the case that it's always economy, that that what drives people, these pocketbook issues. it's almost become a cliche. >> it's a cliche for a good reason because most of the time it is the economy. obviously there are times of issues of war and peace intrude. in recent years one reason why i think you've seen the partisanship and the polarization so intense is because in addition to the traditional economic issues, you've also seen thed advent of a lot of cultural issues. social issues which by their very nature tend to be more
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polarizing, more emotional because of the intensity of people's feelings. so the economic issues alone ironically can be less polarizing than obviously issues like abortion, gay marriage, you name it, which are being used to drive a lot of the electorate to the polls today. >> woodruff: michael, just picking up on that. in fact, the economy is doing better as the president himself says not doing better fast enough. i mean, how do you... how do you see the demarcation line throughout history, throughout presidential politics, throughout presidential history? at what point do people feel it's just too much and the incumbent needs to be punishedded? >> happens an awful lot of times when it gets to be too bad. also when they feel that the incumbent is responsible. since world war ii we were in this great boom. presidents between about 1945
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and 1970 wanted to take credit for it so they basically said, this great economy is all my doing. voters have a tendency i think to some extent to exaggerate a president's role in making the economy better or worse. one of the interesting numbers from tonight is the number of people who four years after george w. bush left office still give him an awful lot of blame for the situation today. >> woodruff: we're going to have a chance to go all the way back to the beginning. 1770s. we've got lots of time to talk about it. >> can't wait, judy. woodruff: michael and richard, thank you both. >> thank you. you bet. >> woodruff: now hari sreenivasan is here to tell us more about the newshour's online election map center and his role in our coverage tonight. hari? sreenivasan: i'd like to show you about the digital map center that the pbs newshour has built. it is chock full of data that you can take a look at, at home whether on a computer, on a tablet, maybe even on your phone. we'll be hear talking to public media reporters around the country based on some of these
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data sets. first i'm going to show you where it is and then what's in it. so first the where it is. you go to our website, the pbs newshour page. you can see right there when you scroll down right there, there will be a big, huge icon that says map center. when you click on that, you're going to likely see something different than this. right now it's all white because there aren't any results point in yet. there's no data out of the precincts in oklahoma. that's write now but eventually it will turn red or blue. what you're also going to see is this calculator. you can have a little bit of fun, become an armchair quarterback, if you want to, and figure out where the election is going to go if that's what you wanted to do. for example, all you have to do with these states is go ahead and click on a state. if you think colorado is not a toss-up anymore as the associated press thinks and you think it will go for romney when you click on it twice, it will turn red. if you click on it again it will turn blue. what you can see here is it actually affects the electoral vote count.
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so important. this is why and how you can understand how important ohio or florida are and when those vote counts change. another very interesting thing we've done with this map center is load it full of different types of data that you can take a look at. for example, here are the electoral results in historical context. do you think tonight will be a landslide? it's nothing compared to 1972 where mcgovern got 17 electoral votes and nixon got 520. we also have, for example, unemployment data. you've seen the campaigns talk about unemployment over and over again. and what you can do on this map is go ahead and take a look. you can see california has 9.7% unemployment. nevada has 11.2%. florida has 8.6%. you can go dive in on a state-by-state level as well. finally we've also got a lot of demographic data in here. this, for example, is a breakdown as how the country looks by ethnicity. the more pink, the larger hispanic population. new mexico has 46%.
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texas has 37%. these are just some of the data sets. whether it's demographic or economic or historical or a little bit of context that you like from the newshour so much. we'll be back. >> ifill: we'll be playing with those maps all night. we can't wait. all of those factors will play into state and local races across this country. back to jeff now now for a closer look at the house and senate contest on radar tonight. >> brown: still with me are christina bellantoni and stuart rothenberg. let's set the big-picture scene on the senate side. of course it's about control in both houses, right? >> sure, it is. at the beginning of this cycle, republicans felt confident that they might be able to win the necessary seats to take control of the chamber. narrowly divided now. they a wide open playing field because the democrats were playing defense on a lot of seats. big retirements more than five on the democratic side where they were filling these seats. that tends to be a little bit more competitive. you had democrats playing
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defense in areas where they won in 2006 in a democratic wave year when they were able to regain control of the chamber. that set the scene. but consistently throughout this year, it's just been interesting watching a lot of these races that seemed like they would be a lot closer than they are. areas where democrats were able to recruit good candidates and shore things up. as of right now, the republicans stan to gain some seats. the democrats stan to gain some seats. it will be a little closer divided but not looking like the republicans will be able to take over that chamber right now. >> brown: on the house side, the big picture. the republicans start with the lead, of course. >> yeah. the democrats need 25 seats. they need to win 25 republican seats or flip them in order to win the house of representatives. there are 435 seats. if you really focus on the competitive districts races where strong candidates have raised enough money and run good campaigns and have a chance of winning, we're really talking only about 65, 70, maybe 75 congressional districts. given redisdistricting where
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republicans benefited from drawing districts when they controlled the legislatures and governors it's very difficult for the democrats to get up to 25. we are looking at this point, it's very early in the evening, we're estimating or guesstimating relatively minimal change in the house. a small republican gain to a modest democratic gain. the house is little different than the senate. in the senate the republicans need three or four senate seats depending upon whether or not mitt romney wins the white house. there are 23 democrats defending seats. only 10 republicans so when you look at the fundamentals it looks like the republicans have all these opportunities but it's... they seem to have wasted some of those opportunities. >> brown: of course all through the night we're going to be looking at a lot of these interesting races. now let's focus in on a few especially on some key senate races. one of them is virginia. >> yes. the polls close in virginia at 7:00. we're not expecting to know a result in this race for quite a while because this is a race that has been a toss-up from the very beginning between two former governors, tim kaine and george allen.
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george allen held this senate seat in the 2006 wave year. we talked about he actually lost his seat by a very close margin, one of the last races to be called. it was even a day after election day. he low s that seat to jim web. jim web is retiring. so you now have allen trying to rewin his seat. this is also a race where both men have their fates tied very much to the national ticket. barack obama, mitt romney are competing very heavily in virginia. so everybody is making this a national issue. when you look at the spending in this race, it's been really amazing. we actually just tallied these up. stu calculated $51.5 million has been spent from outside groups this race in virginia alone. >> brown: as a virginia resident i'm well aware. >> we're seeing all these ads. it's really phenomenal of how much influence they're trying to do in addition to the messaging. tim kaine was the national democratic committee chairman was almost chosen as his vice president in 2008. you've seen republicans attempt to tie them to one another. george allen is attempted to tie not only to mitt romney but also
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to george w. bush. >> brown: another one getting a lot of national attention is in massachusetts. >> it is. this is one of the kind of national sexy races that everybody is watching of scott brown who won a special election for the late senator edward kennedy's seat against elizabeth warren, a high-profile democratic recruit, consumer activist. brown started off with terrific numbers. voters in massachusetts though it's a democratic state really liked him. he had carved out an image of an independent republican, somebody who was personable, approachable down to earth likable. he had great numbers but this is massachusetts. a state where the president won it by 795,000 votes four years ago is a democratic state that the president will win again. as voters started to view this race more in partisan terms through a partisan lens scott brown's numbers went down. the most recent polling suggests a narrow lead for her. one thing that is interesting is no outside money. the two of them agreed not to have outside money. not that they could do anything about that. >> brown: it kept from spending a lot of money.
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>> they spent together over $65 million. i have to give credit to the campaign finance institute. it's their financial data. i didn't ad up those numbers. it's a really good website with a lot of good campaign stuff on it. >> brown: montana. the virginia was one of those races that was late to be called in 2006. montana was the other. john tester won this by a very, very narrow margin in 2006. he's now up against congressman denis reberg who has been winning because it's an at-large congressional seat. he's been winning statewide for many years. he's very... he's well known to the states. it's a small state. it's also a state where it's not a very heavy population. they have a governor's race that's pretty interesting but the presidential contest is not competitive there. it's been dead locked from the very beginning. it's been pretty nasty between these two men. it's one of those ones that is really going to send a signal about the direction of the country. if senator tester is able to stay reelected there it might be a better night for barack obama. >> brown: nevada. this is a point that senator dean was appointed to fill the
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vacancy when the republican resigned his seat. the democrat is shelley berkley. the congresswoman from park county las vegas. interesting race in terms of personalities and style and ideology. of course, this is senate majority harry reid's state. he workd very hard to be re-elected a couple years ago. he's been working hard for berkeley. appears to have a very narrow advantage because he has made the race about congresswoman berkeley and about an ethics charge involving her and her husband in financial been its a fascinating race in a state that is one of the swing states in the presidential election. >> brown: briefly on the house side because won't go through all of those. thematically is there one thing you're looking for or a race that you want to call our attention to. >> redistricting matters. in particular, it matters who controls the state legislature. a lot of these states many of them control who draws the lines. the republicans were able to make a lot of very key smart moves for their party to be able to draw the lines to be more favorable to them. north carolina is is a state
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we're watching very closely. a lot of the democrats there, the democratic seats could flip there which puts that number that stu was mentioning the 25 net seats puts it further out if democrats lose seats in the south. that's one area i'm looking at and obviously what's going on in california. >> the democrats have trieded to nationalize the house election. they tried to nationalize it around medicare and the ryan budget. they tried to make this a sort of presidential version of issues. it doesn't look like it has worked. republicans either localize the election or in conservative districts made it about the president barack obama but if the democrats don't do well, they think it says something about the inability to make the house elections about medicare and the ryan budget. >> brown: we'll be watching. stu and christina, thanks. >> woodruff: thank you, jeff. just to pick up on that point about the house, mark, you were just telling me how discouraged how disappointed many democrats are that they don't seem to be able to be making headway in the house. >> i think stu has pointed out
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good things. the failure to nationalize the race around an issue like medicare or the ryan budget, both of which i think there's great frustration on the part of house democratic candidates. barack obama has run a lone ranger campaign. you go into barack obama headquarters, there are no signs, bumper stickers or buttons for a congressional candidate or a senate candidate. he's even said this week if you're going to vote for a republican for congress don't forget to vote. i mean there hasn't been that sense of a unified message all the way down. they're fighting history. there's not been a president re-elected who has picked up more than 10 house seats because a president being re-elected is a vote for continuity in itself. so the idea of changing, you know or leading a crusade at the house level at the same time is pretty difficult. but i think this time it's quite obvious that there has not been a coordinated campaign between the white house and the house of representatives.
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>> ifill: you make a point. the president has made only one phone call or phone ad for one senate candidate and that was tammy baldwin in wisconsin. they mentioned virginia, massachusetts and montana, david. what are you watching? >> first i want to talk about the medicare issue. it's one of the big surprises to me is that medicare did not fight against paul ryan or the republicans. i thought there would be ads in every house race. maybe the polling didn't show it. the one other state i would talk about when the polls close is indiana senate where richard murdoch the republican who had a gaffe about rape and abortion is fighting against a moderate joe donley, democrat. this should be a lockdown republican seat but it's close. it was close before the gaffe. because they ousted richard lugar a more moderate republican. it's that seat and the missouri seat where the republicans could have given away two morrison at seats. if this was, astuter and christina said this was the golden opportunity for the
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republicans to take back the senate. >> woodruff: is there a thread running through all that or are these just isolated instances of what happened in individual races? >> i mean the republicans, this is not... this is becoming a pattern with republicans. i mean it happened in 2010. they had a chance to knock out harry reid. the senate majority leader. they nominated angle instead and lost. they lost christine o'donnell over mike castle in delaware. they've done too... they nominated mr. buck in colorado over miss norton who would have won. probably would have beaten michael bennett. they've consistently nominated and almost cost lisa murkowski her seat in alaska. she came back a far more independent republican as a result of her tea party challenger experience. david cites in missouri and indiana further examples. i mean joe donley is a third-term democratic
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congressman, perfectly able and decent man. and quite competent. he was running against richard lugar because he had lost his congressional district and redistricting. the republicans had taken it away from them. he's running against richard lugar in the off beat chance that lugar loses. now joe donley is favored i think it's fair to say favored to win that senate seat tonight. >> ifill: let's go back to the presidential race. you made an interesting point about indiana that i want to pick up on. there was a time when candidates liked the idea of expanding the map. in fact, we've heard the romney folks talking about expanding the map this week. indiana was a perfect example. he didn't win by a lot but president obama won indiana last night. not expected to do it this time. virginia used to be a republican state. now a couple times it's gone democrac. is it possible anymore to expand this red-blue map. >> it gets harder because there are so many states, the ohios of the world, the colorados of the world. these states for the last five elections have been decided by single digits. when you've got this core of real swing states it's hard to
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think. you can get a freak circumstance where you can carry indiana if you're a democrat. it's just not normal anymore. the map that hari showed us where ronald reagan carried 49 states, whatever it was, that's not going to happen anymore. we're living in a different country. i actually like the electoral college because it does force the candidates to focus on these moderate swing states. it forces the candidates themselves to be more moderate or else they would just be mining for votes in their bases. republicans would be in the south. democrats would be on the costs. i like the fact they have to go to these swing states. >> woodruff: you have all these demographic shifts. >> could i just... i mean for those of us who do believe in democracy at some level, electoral vote in wyoming represents 163,000 votes. 163,000 citizens. and in california, one electoral vote is 680,000. now wyoming is beautiful. is it four times more valuable than california. >> ifill: mark, we have all night long to figure it all out. >> we will.
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ifill: we will. we'll come back to this. finally tonight both parties are relying on young voters to >> ifill: and finally, both parties are relying on young voters to drive outcomes tonight and in coming election cycles. but are they still engaged? as part of our year long voters' project "listen to me," hari sreenivasan's been talking to college students about what is motivating them. >> sreenivasan: the pbs newshour is teaming up with student journalists across the country to find out what's on the minds of young voters this election season. the vote 2012 college tour is a joint venture with 24 journalism programs in a dozen states. for the last two months, students have been acting as novice producers helping collect videos for the newshour's "listen to me" project. that's where we ask americans what issues matter most to them and why. not surprisingly, many young people and first-time voters ranked the economy as a top issue in this election. >> i got married a year ago. so i have two married students who are trying to work and support ourselves and still get through school in four years. it's been pretty rough.
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i look around and i see all these other people who are in even worse situations with lots of debt. it just keeps getting worse and worse. our country keeps getting into more and more debt. >> sreenivasan: indeed. the average student owes more than $26,000 in loans when they graduate. another cause for concern, the unemployment rate for recent college grads is almost 9%. >> will i be able to find a job? i worked hard these past four years. i would like to be able to get a job with my degree. >> sreenivasan: for others health care was at the top of the list. >> i'm a pharmacy student. that's one of the bigger aspects of my practice. as a woman i feel that it is important to get regular exams whereas paying for preventive care is more important than paying for care after someone has like a certain disease state. >> sreenivasan: there were concerns over foreign policy. >>the situation with iran in israel, if conflicts continue to arise between them, how is that
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going to affect our country and our relationship with the middle east? >> sreenivasan: expectations for immigration reform. >> i believe students or citizens or anybody in the community who has strifed to get a college education should have a bath way to become a legal citizen. >> sreenivasan: a number of students voice for their desire for more options at the voting booth. >> i think the tea party system isn't doing us much more good anymore. we need to open it up and allow space for other options. >> sreenivasan: despite their concerns, almost all the young voters interviewed said they were hopeful about the future. >> the hum... the human race is always trying to look for ways to understand each other. we are not in the worst situation that we've ever had before. the future should be better even if it's more difficult, it should be better. >> sreenivasan: others were more cautiously optimistic. >> i'm hopeful about the future but not in a traditional sense. i'm not hopeful in politicians
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on a grand scale. i'm hopeful in local level and small level elected officials. i'm becoming more and more confident in the change being made by the people. as this young generation embraces those things more, i can see change in the united states of america. >> ifill: you can find these videos and hundreds of others posted online on the newshour's "listen to me" page. >> woodruff: and finally, the non-election news of this day. u.s. home prices rose 5% in september compared to a year ago, the latest sign of a housing recovery. the real estate data firm core- logic said the increase was the largest since july of 2006. and election day found wall street in a mood to buy. the dow jones industrial average gained 133 points to close above 13,245. the nasdaq rose 12 points to close under 3012. in iraq today, at least 33 people died in a suicide car bombing north of baghdad.
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nearly 60 others were wounded. the attacker blew up his vehicle near an iraqi military base in taji in the second attack to target troops there in 24 hours. most of the victims were iraqi soldiers. there was no immediate claim of responsibility. the classical composer and pulitzer prize winner elliott carter died monday, at his home in new york city. carter was known for his rhythmically complicated works, fusing american and european modernist traditions. the string quartets he composed have been called the most difficult every conceived. elliott carter was 103 years old. >> ifill: you can find out much more on what tonht's election could mean for key issues, including the future of the health care law. you can head to our website for the full report from kaiser health news. also, on the rundown, you can read about whether new technology could cut the risk of arming syrian rebels with anti- aircraft weapons.
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and we'll be streaming live online all evening. just go to our homepage for the latest results and to follow our live blog. you can find all that and more at newshour.pbs.org. >> woodruff: with polls about to close in six states, that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online, and right here throughout the night, with special coverage of the 2012 election. and of course we'll be back again at our regular time tomorrow night for more in-depth coverage of what the voters said today, and what happens next. thank you, and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> this is "bbc world news." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the ne

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